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The United States has the highest national potential than any other country...

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Voting Style: Open Point System: 7 Point
Started: 2/21/2013 Category: Politics
Updated: 3 years ago Status: Post Voting Period
Viewed: 568 times Debate No: 30507
Debate Rounds (2)
Comments (2)
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(By highest potential, I mean we have had the most opportunity for success... Our country has more agricultural land than any other, but we only use about 44% of it. If we utilized all of our power, we could rise above all other nations, and we definitely would not be in this recession.)

I honestly believe that the U.S. has a very high potential. In our lands, we have just about every single climate you can think of, just about every culture and ethnics group you can think of, plus we have been lucky enough to start late enough to learn from other great nations.

If you (for some reason) disagree, or you just want to extra-agree with me, accept it.

Do it.


Hello, I'd be glad to debate this topic. I'm sorry if I do anything very wrong, this is my first time debating online.

First, I'd like to frame this debate. "Potential" is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "existing in possibility : capable of development into actuality." This means that theoretical examples that are ridiculously far-fetched should not be considered, but only reasonable arguments for the future of the country. The potential of a country is very broad, considering the global stance, quality of life, and sustainability. Finally, this implies that the resolution does not require effects to be immediate, but rather in a reasonable time frame.

"National" is defined by the Merriam-Webster Dictionary as "belonging to or maintained by the federal government." Thus, this takes into consideration a country, as well as reasonable relations that it may have with other countries. This is due to the fact that foreign relations IS covered by the federal government.

I'd like to break this up into four major categories: resources, economy, military, and technology.

Contention 1: Many other countries have a lot more potential resources that could sustain them.
There is a reason that the U.S. imports so many natural resources. For example, according to, the consumption of American is twice of the next biggest consumer: China. This isn't even taking into consideration China having over 4 times as many citizens as the United States. If the U.S. was able to have a secure supply of oil that wasn't always fluctuating, it might actually have sustainable growth. However, in 2012, the U.S. already imported around 40% of its oil according to the Washington Post. For things like oil, we only have a limited amount, and at the rate that we're burning through oil, we'll be ridiculously dependent on other countries. In an article by the New York Times in the August of 2012, "U.S. Reliance on Saudi Oil is growing again." How can we have a high national potential if we rely on so many other countries who can lead us by the nose?

Another realistic thing that we must realize is our dependence on the basic labor of other nations. For example, the outsourcing of jobs to China provides many of our goods. American companies simply cannot afford to keep jobs in the U.S.and thus many of our products completely rely on other countries. On the other hand, these countries could easily survive themselves. We don't see many countries relying a lot on America for their resources, yet we see the reverse often. This includes a wide variety of materials. For example, according to the International Business Times in 2011, "US says dependence on China for rare earth metals is economical, national security risk." They also manufacture many of our goods.

An unsustainable nation has low potential in the long run.

Contention 2: The United States economy is ridiculously reliant on China.
Even if we don't consider the United States to be reliant on other countries because of resources, the United States economy is very reliant on other countries. According to Daniel, Griswold, director of the CATO Institutes Center for Trade Policy Studies, the US's dependence on China's consumption has increased by 158% from 2000 to 2005, from $16.2 billion to $41.8 billion. And even still, according to the US-China Business Council, there has been an 18.8% increase in dependency on Chinese demand for U.S. products.

The US is in extreme debt to China. It isn't plausible to say that this debt will just disappear. Even if we MANAGED to pay it off, our economy would be very weak. We still owe over a trillion dollars to China, and this is only about 10% of our total debt, according to the Washington Post.

I ask the voters to think: Is it really possible to have the MOST potential when we are in debt to other countries and are not economically stable? It doesn't make sense at all!

Contention 3: Our military potential is not as high or is in par with other countries.
This sounds very contrary to most of what most citizens hear, but remember that this topic is about POTENTIAL. Going back once again to China, China is expected to be ON LEVEL with the U.S. as a military power in 2020 by the U.S. Naval War College. This is something immediate and shows great potential for China. China is also creating for itself a huge sphere of influence for itself in the East-Asia area, and its growth doesn't seem to be slowing down anytime soon. On top of that, its nuclear program is also growing.

They are also very willing to use this power. As demonstrated in the recent conflicts in the South China Sea, China is willing to have battle with other countries over this, and have even constructed a huge underground naval base in the area just in 2010. China's rapidly expanding military, I'd like to emphasize once again, is expected to be on par with the US in the area by 2020. The logical conclusion is that they could easily spread this influence.

Comparatively, the United States is busy trying to deal with countries like North Korea, whose citizens can barely afford food. The U.S's military is impressive now, but it's not showing any signs of extreme growth. Their major problems comparatively small compare to the growth opportunities that China has.

Contention 4: Technologically, many other countries offer a lot more potential for the advancement of society.
I'd like to say that the most helpful technological contributions are those that have to do with lives. I'm sure that this should keep uncontested, as what is held in higher regard than human life?

Here, I'd like to focus on two major examples: cancer research and green research, both of which are led more by China than the United States.

For example, according to Dr. David Caploe, Chief Political Economist, China was set to overtake American in green research back in 2010. He says: "On the other side of Xi"an from Applied Materials sits Thermal Power Research Institute, China"s world-leading laboratory on cleaner coal."

In cancer research, Dr. Charles M. Balch, the Chief Executive Officer of the American Society of Clinical Oncology for nearly 6 years said that, "The Chinese have made huge investments, at both the government and private-sector levels, in support of biomedical research in China." He also says "China will no doubt be a major player in oncology research. With the large volume of patients in China and an increasing ability to conduct collaborative studies across institutions, they can conduct bigger trials among some populations more efficiently than clinical trialists are able to do in other parts of the world."

Thus, these both show the immense potential for Chinese technological advances. They both show China's potential as helpful technologically, even over the United States.

Thus, I strongly believe that I have successfully shown many weaknesses in the United States. Economically and in resources, the United States relies a huge amount on other countries. Its military is also expected to be caught up with by China in 2020 in the East-Asia area, implying a greater surpassing later, and China's technological advances that are more helpful to all of society surpass those of the United States.

While I wouldn't say that China is currently more of a world power, I would say that it clearly has more potential in all aspects.

Thank you for your time, and I look forward to your response.
Debate Round No. 1


Laserpak forfeited this round.


I am greatly disappointed that my opponent did not respond. I thought that this was a very interesting topic and really hope that my opponent responds, perhaps writing a case in the comments. I'd really like some of response.

Either way, I extend all my arguments: America has a economical and natural resource reliance on other countries, will be outclassed militarily, and does not provide enough technological potential.

Thank you for your time and I strongly urge a Con ballot.
Debate Round No. 2
2 comments have been posted on this debate. Showing 1 through 2 records.
Posted by YYW 3 years ago
Whatever potential it has, is limited by voters.
Posted by eastcoastsamuel 3 years ago
What exactly do you mean by, "highest national potential"? Potential to do what exactly? Is this quantifiable? Clarify what exactly you mean by this and I'll accept the challenge.
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